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Construction jobs increase in 31 states from May to June

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Construction employment increased from May to June in 31 states, including South Carolina, and the District of Columbia, though an industry group says data show jobsite hours beginning to decline.

An analysis (.pdf) of federal employment data by the Associated General Contractors of America and a compilation of weekly jobsite hours by construction technology firm Procore show that jobsite hours reached a peak of 15.1 million during the week of June 7-13, according to a news release. Snice then, totals have slipped to 15 million during the week of June 14-20 and 14.6 million during the week of June 21-27.

“The widespread job gains in June follow even more universal increases in May,” Ken Simonson, AGC’s chief economist, said in the release. “But the government’s employment snapshot was based on payrolls during the week of June 12. More recent data collected by Procore on hours worked on jobsites suggests employment topped out around mid-June and may have begun to decline.”

South Carolina saw an increase of 1,400 construction jobs from May to June 2020, an increase of 1.3% from 106,900 to 108,300. In June 2019, the state had 106,500 jobs and has seen a year-to-year increase of 1.7%.

Procore has mapped state jobsite hours since the week of March 1. As COVID-19-related restrictions eased in some states and weather conditions improved, hours increased in most states, though the AGC worries coronavirus flareups in some states may result in more project cancellations and layoffs.

New York added the most construction jobs from May to June with 42,000, or an increase of 14.2%. Massachusetts saw the largest percentage increase at 16.3%, or 19,700 jobs.

Construction declined from May to June in 18 states and was unchanged in Alaska. Louisiana lost 3,900 jobs, while Nevada saw a minus-3.5% drop.

From June 2019 to June 2020, construction employment increased in 15 states, decreased in 34 states and Washington, D.C., and held steady in Wyoming. Utah added the most construction jobs over the year (10,200 jobs, or 9.4%). South Dakota had the largest percentage increase (13.7%, or 3,200 jobs).

New York lost the most construction jobs during the year (68,300 jobs, minus-16.8%). The largest percentage decline occurred in Vermont (minus-29.4%, or 4,500 jobs).

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